While exploring the area around Colorado Springs we found an amazing FREE campsite in Royal Gorge Park in Canon City with a great hike up to the top with fantastic views over the gorge. Then we drove on towards Colorado Springs, stopping in Red Rock Canyon along the way. This is how we stopped at Red Rock, as we were driving along Joe said “wow, that’s pretty, what is that?” so we turned around and drove into the parking lot to discover that Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a 789-acre city park in Colorado Springs with wonderful hiking trails which we stopped to enjoy. We love this part of our lifestyle with no time constraints we can stop anytime when we see something that catches our eye and it is especially enjoyable when we randomly come upon these places that we know nothing about and have not researched.
Then again we have yet to be disappointed with destinations that we have researched like Great Sand Dunes NP, yet another NP that has exceeded our expectations. After leaving Colorado Springs we headed straight to Great Sand Dunes NP where we stayed three nights and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Climbing the dunes was the toughest hiking we have done, climbing sand is not easy and compounded with the parks’ elevation of 8200 feet and the dunes being 700 feet high we were quickly gasping for breath-very humbling for a former personal trainer. We chose not to do any sledding, which is permitted, instead we just walked along the ridges of the dunes and soaked in the spectacular views of the Rockies. I really enjoyed walking bare foot and thankfully we started early in the morning because by noon the sand was just too hot. Sunset in this park is spectacular, the constantly changing light on the dunes is a photographers dream. We wanted to do more hiking but I could only bring myself to climb the dunes once so we did Mosca Pass, a forested trail which was lovely. Click here to view our April Flickr album.